City Girl had no idea that goats burp.
Oh my, at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary, there were noises coming out both ends of the herd.
Standing next to the immaculate corrals, I giggled like a fourth grader.
“You would be gassy, too, if you had four stomachs,” said Ellen Felsenthal, who oversees the operation.
Felsenthal, 42, is a photography professor at Everett Community College. She grew up in Chicago, Ill. Her father worked for Sears and the family had cats. She came to Washington to attend graduate school.
We were interrupted when Ernest and Elvis butted heads. It was play time. I didn’t know there were so many kinds of goats. I thought some were sheep. Long hair, short hair, stubby horns, long horns, pure colors and calicos.
When Felsenthal lived on two acres in Redmond, she tended dogs, kittens and ponies. But it became apparent, she said, that there was a need for a goat shelter.
She rescued Ziggy and the goat lived with her horse at a boarding facility.
“I took Ziggy in, simply because he had nowhere else to go,” Felsenthal said. “At the time he came into my life, I was pretty heavily involved with horse rescue, as well as fostering dogs and cats.”
Sometimes the horse rescue folks got calls about goats that needed homes. Felsenthal recognized the need for a goat shelter, so she fenced her Redmond property and got set up for goats.
Word spread fast.
She began getting calls from veterinarians, feed stores and friends.
“No organization existed specifically to help these intelligent, friendly animals,” she said. “I decided to make goats my focus.”
Her search for a permanent spread ended at the six acres in Arlington she now calls home.
“I love Arlington,” she said. “I could afford a place there.”
New Moon became a nonprofit sanctuary in 2008. She has 38 goats looking for new homes.
You could adopt Betty White. She’s a Nubian cross doe, mostly white, with some brown patches and an adorable pink nose.
Poor Betty was abandoned in Seattle. Dedicated volunteers and a trained herding dog rounded her up.
She had hoof rot and parasites, and a foreign object embedded in her side.
Betty White is good as new now and ready for a new home.
Pluto, a handsome, 5-year-old Cashgora wether, would like to be adopted.
“He is black, with a really nice, warm gray fleece,” Helsenthal said. “He has a white star, sweeping horns, and a little beard.”
Pluto was brought to New Moon by the CASA rescue group on Camano Island. They were unable to find him a good home, and were not set up to keep him through the winter.
“Pluto is very friendly and loves treats,” she said. “He would be a gorgeous addition to a spinner’s flock.”
His adoption fee is $100 and he is up to date with veterinary care. Each potential home is visited before a goat move and an adoption contract is required.
Beware. She won’t let folks adopt goats to be used as lawnmowers. They must live with another goat or horse.
Her operation relies on volunteers. The day I visited, Laura Elmore was there from Everett, scooping poop.
When City Girl thinks about volunteering, her thoughts go to rocking babies in a hospital nursery.
Elmore thinks shoveling after goats is dandy.
“This is the high point of my week,” she said. “The goats are so great.”
They were pretty cute. The goats have toys, such as climbing ramps. When Felsenthel went into the corral, they were like toddlers at daycare, spying Mommy arriving after work. They clamored for her attention and all but climbed into her pants pocket.
Two of the does are pregnant, Felsenthal said. She also boards goats for animal control agencies.
“So far this year, we have taken in 49 goats and placed 41 into loving homes.”
Felsenthal has her own pets at the farm, including two horses, a dozen goats, two sheep, two dogs and five cats.
For fun, she enjoys camping with her horses and working the property, which takes most of her time away from work.
For more information about New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary, go to http:// newmoonfarm.org. Felsenthal also sells farm gear on her website.
Felsenthal can always use extra hands who want to help at work parties. When you meet the goats, don’t bother saying, “Oh, excuse you.”
You’ll have to say it way too many times.
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Moon Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary is located in Arlington. There are fundraisers throughout the year, including Goats 101 workshops and basic care classes. Scheduled are:
June 11: An event and raffle at Bothell Feed Supply.
July 9: Goatalympics is planned at the Evergreen Fairgrounds in Monroe. There is New Moon gear for sale on the website.
For more information, go to http://newmoonfarm.org or call 425-791-4513.